Lesser cuckoo

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Lesser cuckoo
Cuculus poliocephalus.jpg
Song recorded in Japan
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cuculiformes
Family: Cuculidae
Genus: Cuculus
Species: C. poliocephalus
Binomial name
Cuculus poliocephalus
Latham, 1790

The lesser cuckoo (Cuculus poliocephalus) is a species of cuckoo in the family Cuculidae.

It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kenya, North Korea, South Korea, Laos, Malawi, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

In culture[edit]

Lesser cuckoo on a 1954 Japanese stamp

In Japan, the bird is called hototogisu (ホトトギス) and is frequently praised for its song, and ranked as her favorite bird by Sei Shonagon in her account of court life in Heian Japan, The Pillow Book. It is also a pivotal image in poem 81 of the Hyakunin Isshu poetry anthology.

In Korean literature, the song of the lesser cuckoo represents the sound of sadness.[citation needed]